Friday night, my daughter and I went for our longest bike ride yet. It was sprinkling and approaching dusk but we headed out anyway. It would have been nicer to stay at home, curled up with a good book. We looked longingly at the couch, took a deep breath, adjusted out helmets and headed out. The bike ride was mostly fun, except for the wet gravel. Training wheels and wet gravel do not mix well as Aris soon discovered. Aris was very frustrated as her bike kept getting stuck, but she pushed on. She liked the pavement much better, although her one complaint was that she couldn't go fast enough. "Mommy" she said" I like to go fast, but as hard as try I can't go faster than the cars". I hadn't previously pegged my daughter as a speed demon. Thankfully she still has many years before she can get her driver's license. I was a bit nervous as she flew down hills, but she had no such compunctions. Biking with my daughter is good for my spiritual life as I prayed A LOT during our journey. Thankfully there were no accidents or major falls for either of us. We did have many close calls though.
So why did we go out on a drizzly night? Well, Aris and I(and Steve and Zane and Kian) will be biking in the Ride for Refuge on Saturday, October 1st. Originally known as the Ride for Refugees, this cycling event is dedicated to raising funds for those in need of shelter and care, wherever they may be found. We are biking specifically in support of Welcome Home, a refugee housing community. As Aris has become aware of the world around her, she has realized that not everyone is blessed with a safe home with lots of food, clothing and friends. In kindergarten she became friends with a little boy whose family sought refuge here in Canada. Moved by his story, she wanted to do something to help. She chose to ride in support of other refugees in our community and continues to do so, making this her third year riding.
This is my very first time riding. I volunteered for four years, doing sweep riding, welcoming and cheerleading. Last year, I chose to walk alongside Aris. Somewhat foolishly, I had assumed that she would only do a couple of kilometres on her bike. Instead she did the full 10k with me walking alongside(and sometimes behind) her. Although I have not ridden a bike in over 10 years, I decided that biking would be much easier than walking. So I asked for a bicycle for my birthday and started training. It's been a sacrifice. Cycling is hard on my body. But I realize how blessed I am, merely because of the accident of being born here. My heart hurts for those who have endured injustice, famine, war and displacement. I want to give something back, to make a difference, even if it's just something little. So here I am, sore and nervous, preparing to ride 10k in less than a week. (Dear Lord, have mercy!)
Would you, could you join with me? If you could sponsor us, even $2 would be great. But if not, could you pray or think good thoughts? I'd appreciate the encouragement! Go here to sponsor Aris and here to sponsor me. Thank you!